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Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce.

search engine optimization for e-commerce

What is Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce

Opening my ecommerce shop WildBriar Art: digital prints was quite a challenge. In fact, I wasn’t aware of how much of a challenge it was until I began.

  • First off, I needed to open my shop. You can read about it here
  • I also needed a website to host my shop. Panic!
  • Read the article above and see how I managed with quite a bit of online help.
  • Now I’ve got my shop and website running. Happy, happy?
  • Well, no!
  • Nobody is visiting my wonderful website, and nobody is buying from my handmade shop. Disaster!!
  • I knew nothing about Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce

Ok, so I didn’t know why nobody visited my shop? Well, the simple answer is – they didn’t know it exists so how can they visit something they don’t know about. I need traffic to my web pages and shop – but how do I get people to visit?

SEO

Quite likely, you’ve heard about search engine optimization (SEO) before. But do you know what it is, and do you know why it is important for websites and a new online shop like mine? Search Engine Optimization for e-commerce or anything else is a rather complex topic that can be difficult to grasp if you’re not a web developer, for instance. For that reason, many website owners leave it up to SEO professionals to get the job done.

The Basics

But having some basic knowledge of search engine optimization for e-commerce can be helpful in not only saving money but also helping you to create more SEO-friendly content. If you are new to writing or just setting up your website (or both), it’s a good idea to get familiar with SEO. Read on to get up to speed with the basics of SEO and how you can use it to improve the content you create and your general online presence.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is a set of activities that are used to organically increase traffic to a web destination. The search engine part of that definition is extremely important because it’s the bridge between your content/website and the people you want to find you.

What’s the point?

The whole point of SEO is to help your web pages reach as high a position as possible on the search engines. Ideally, you want your content to reach the first page of the Google index. That’s because approximately 92% of people conducting Google searches tend to only click on the results that show up on the first page, especially those at the top.

Statistics

With statistics showing that over 67,000 searches are conducted on Google every second, it is, hands down, the number one search engine. However, there are other search engines to keep in the back of your mind. These include Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com, DuckDuckGo, and Baidu. But with Google being responsible for over 71% of all search traffic globally, most SEO practices and trends revolve around Google’s algorithms.

Why SEO is important

There are a multitude of reasons why paying attention to SEO is important. But let’s look at three SEO statistics for answers.

  • Search engines account for 93% of all web traffic! That’s right, most people will use a search engine to find information, products, and services they might be interested in.
  • Search engine optimization has a higher conversion rate (how often someone takes an action after finding your content) than other means of driving traffic. In fact, the conversion rate for SEO stands at 14.6% while it’s just about 1.7% for other outbound methods such as sending direct mail or creating print ads.
  • After making a search online, 88% of consumers are likely to call or visit a local business they found, within 24 hours.

Blog or e-Commerce

By looking at these three statistics alone, it’s easy to see why you should spend some time on SEO. Whether you run a blog or own an e-commerce store, SEO will make it easier for people to find you, which is the whole point of you having your business online in the first place. Another reason why you want to pay attention to SEO is because your competitors are doing it. If their web pages are better optimized for search engines, then they are the ones who will be found by your target consumers.

How to use SEO

Search algorithms are designed to look for the most relevant content that matches a term that is typed into the search bar. This content can be text, video, image, or even a file on the web. Whatever the case, you want to use SEO to ensure the content can be discovered by a search engine’s web crawlers, as well as indexed and ranked. That way, it ends up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

How do you use SEO to accomplish this?

  • Find out what your potential customers will be searching for (the actual item or content).
  • Determine what keywords they are likely to use (requires keyword research) and target those keywords.
  • From your keyword research, select those that carry the most weight in terms of search volume and relevance.
  • Look for or create content around topics that your target audience will find highly interesting.
  • Write content in a natural, engaging way and find opportunities to use your keywords.
  • Optimize your webpages for search. There are several ways to do this, but you can start with a plugin called Yoast SEO.
  • Pay attention to the ease of navigation and the use of good/relevant information on your website.

SEO best practices

Search engine optimization trends keep changing, in line with Google’s constant updates to its search algorithm. As a result, you need to stay abreast with current SEO news to make sure you can apply necessary tweaks to your web content and keep it SEO-friendly. With that said, here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • Create catchy, keyword-friendly titles for content such as your products you wish to sale.
  • Use headers and subheaders to structure your descriptions in a logical way.
  • Label images using ALT text so that web crawlers can identify what they are.
  • Create suitable meta titles and descriptions for each of your webpages.
  • Avoid overusing keywords; Google will penalize you if its web crawlers think your content has unnecessary words/phrases.
  • Ensure your page URLs are simple and descriptive.
  • Make your website mobile friendly; more than half of website searches come from mobile devices.
  • Add a robots.txt file to your website. This tells Google how to index pages on your site.
  • Create a sitemap.
  • Link to other pages and products.

CONCLUSION

SEO is an ongoing practice that requires time and patience but if you do it right, the rewards will be well worth it. By learning the basics of search engine optimization, you will get an understanding of how the web works, as well as how to encourage more visitors to your online shop. You can get a lot of help with Yoast Plugin: read about it here

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Budget Planner: why and how to use one. Finances.

`Budget plannersBudget planner

   Why use a budget planner

Managing your money well is all about careful planning. It’s easy to let your spending get out of control if you don’t know exactly how much of your money is ‘disposable income’.

How can a budget planner help?

Putting together a budget to help you keep on top of your finances has a whole host of benefits. Here are some of them:

1. Gives you control over your money 

Knowing that you have a good budget to use each month will give you the confidence of knowing you’re in control of your money. It beats the ‘spend and hope’ approach where you don’t pay attention to your bank balance and hope there is money left in your account when you come to pay.

2. Helps you focus on your financial goals

Planning for the future and working to an objective allows you to plan big purchases, like houses and cars, without worrying you’ll miss the mark. If you can stick to your budget, putting money aside or having more disposable income can become easier.

3. Keeps you on top of what you’re spending

You’ll be surprised at how much you spend on essential things, like bills, rent/mortgage, and food. Most of us will have vastly underestimated our monthly or weekly spend by forgetting how much we spend on other items like TV license and commuting.

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4. Makes it easier to stay aware of your savings and debts

We have already said that the budget planner helps you stay on top of what you are spending. But what about the money you are putting away or using to pay off debts? A good budget keeps you aware of when your debts will be paid off and a little extra money will be freed up to be redirected into savings or that occasional treat.

5. Helps you to save for unexpected costs

It’s always safe to expect the unexpected. If your boiler breaks in the middle of winter, or your oven stops working, you’ll want to make sure you have some money set aside to deal with it. Careful budgeting can help take the sting out of unexpected bills

6. Makes talking about money with your family easier

Talking to your family about when you need to tighten the purse strings and when to spend helps keep them know what’s happening with the family finances. This should help the entire family work together when it comes to healthy spending.

7. Shows you where money issues are likely to come from

Much in the same way a guard dog alerts you to danger before you see it, a proper budget will show you where the risks to your financial stability are. If things look a little tight, you can address them before they get out of control.

8. Helps you figure out what you can borrow

Sometimes you’ll need to borrow money by using a credit card or a loan to keep things ticking along. Knowing what you can afford to pay back each month from your budget can help make working out how much you can borrow much easier.

HOW TO USE A BUDGET PLANNER

The best way to use a budget planner is to commit to it at the beginning of a certain time period, say the beginning of a new week or month. Follow these steps in order to create your budget:

  • Enter in all forms of income that come into your household. Include your salary, interest, dividends, and investment income, Any family allowance payments you receive. Child support payments and even income from your hobbies.

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WORK OUT ANY BILLS

  • which need to be paid, including debt repayments, that come out of your income each month. These are referred to as regular expenses and will include rent or mortgage payments, car loan payments, credit card payments and insurance premiums. Car registration costs and school fees are also be included. You’ll also need to include your electricity, gas and water bills. Remember, many of these are issued quarterly so if you’re creating a monthly budget you may need to divide up your quarterly bill amount to give you an accurate monthly figure.
  • Check past statements to see your expenses for the last three months which are not regular, such as food, entertainment, shopping, fuel and other extras. These are referred to as irregular expenses and will need to be included. It is harder to plan for these expenses, but as time goes on you will have a better understanding of a limit to set yourself.

AS THE MONTH PROGRESSES

  • keep a track of how much you spend on what items. If you use cash a lot, try and keep receipts so you remember what you’ve spent your money on. You can then divide these items into categories on your budget.
  • Working together: Creating a budget plan can help families work together when it comes to healthy spending
  • When planned, budgeting can help you spend less on everyday expenses.

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OnLine Shop: How I’m starting mine from scratch

Online Shop

ONLINE SHOP: how I’m starting mine from scratch

Have you ever thought about opening an online shop to earn a passive income, but didn’t know how or where to start? Well, that’s exactly how I felt. So, I set about finding out if I could easily make a passive income even though I have no experience in retail. This is my first blog about my journey into online shops.

How to get started?

Firstly, I needed to decide what to sell. The choice is endless from clothes to apps. I did a little research by reading blogs, watching YouTube videos and checking out all the emails telling me how easy it is to make a passive income.

OK, I wasn’t too impressed with how easy many of the emailers claimed setting up a passive income is. Especially as after the 2nd or 3rd email they started trying to sell me a book, some resources or a bootcamp on how to get started.

Getting Started with an online shop

In the end I made up my mind to go it alone – this was a conscious decision on my part, I still don’t know at this stage in my shop’s development if it is the right one!

What to sell?

I made up my mind to sell digital prints, wall art and printables. There are a couple of reasons why I decided on these products:

  1. I like art & design, but I’m not an expert but felt I could learn.
  2. You don’t have to hold stock with digital products.
  3. There’s no Shipping or packaging involved.

Of course, there are many other reasons if you dig down, but these were enough to get me thinking.

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How to sell products online?

  • Do I sell on my blog?
  • Will a specific platform be better?
  • What about a set up like Etsy?

There is so much to think about and so many decisions to make my head was reeling. In the end I chose Woocommerce as my selling platform. With Shopify a close second. Why choose Woocommerce:

  • It is free although there are extensions you can buy to upgrade.
  • You use it along with WordPress which also free.
  • It’s fairly easy to use
  • There’s plenty of help available.

What did I need to set up my online shop?

  • A web host – there are hundreds on the market such as GoDaddy, Bluehost, Hostpapa to name a few.
  • An appropriate domain – pick one that helps to identify your potential shop.

Once you’ve got your domain and hosting in place you can now set up your WordPress website. For some of the best help on doing this and anything else to do with setting up your website go to www.wpbeginner.com

How do you make digital prints?

I use Canva.com because it is easy to use and does everything I need. It is also free although I now use the upgraded version which has a few nice extras. There is also a wide choice out there including:

  • ipiccy.com
  • Photoshop
  • Adobe
  • picmonkey.com

I hope this article has got you thinking about how you can make a passive income with an online shop. Start by choosing what to sell and how you’re going to sell it. Next time I’ll go through the process of setting up an online shop and uploading your first products. Stay with me on this journey and learn as I learn how to get started. Here is an example of my very new shop

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